Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University
Samuel Weiss Evans

Samuel Weiss Evans

samuel_evans (at)

Sam Weiss Evans is a Visiting Research Fellow with the Program for Science, Technology, and Society at the Harvard Kennedy School and a Research Affiliate at the Program on Emerging Technologies at MIT. Sam will be spending the year writing his book on the construction and governance of security concerns in emerging technology, and continuing engagement work with the synthetic biology community, particularly in relation to work being done on gene drive systems and proposals for their development and use.

Sam’s work focuses on how areas of science and technology are or are not considered to be security concerns for states. This involves analyzing the processes whereby states become concerned and act to alleviate those concerns, and also analyzing who has a say in these processes. At the heart of this work is the way that areas of science and technology are coproduced with the social orders around the concept of security. Sam’s topical areas of focus include synthetic biology, cybersecurity technologies, and conventional dual-use technologies. He has studied several governance mechanisms, including national and international export control systems, federal funding and publishing guidelines, and ‘bottom-up’ security measures developed by scientists and their related communities.

Sam holds a double B.A. in Philosophy and Physics from St. Olaf College and a M.Sc. in Management Research from Oxford University. He completed his D.Phil. in 2009 at Oxford University under the supervision of Prof. Steve Rayner, where he studied the international processes whereby states modify export control lists for ‘dual-use’ goods and technologies, e.g. those that have both military and non-military uses. From 2009-2011, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow jointly with the Harvard STS Program and the Harvard School for Engineering and Apllied Sciences. From 2011-2014, he was the Associate Director for Research for the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Science, Technology, Medicine, & Society. More about Sam can be found on his website,